The host of Jam Sandwich shares how the best jam bands will ring in the New Year
By Jimmy Keegan
Given the Mayans were not accurate about the events of this upcoming December, the final evening of that month will certainly prove itself to be a spectacle on its own (without the mass-devastation). In a scene where seeing live music is almost synonymous with travel, fans of various jam-bands will not be lacking events or destinations to choose between.
In the wake of Mayan Holidaze (a week long end of the world party/music festival on a Mexican resort which fittingly concludes on 12/21/12) the festival’s three headliners: Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9), The Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee, will all be splitting to different regions of the country to ring in the New Year. STS9 will be returning to Denver for the third year in a row to perform three nights at the Fillmore Auditorium. Progressive-rock wizards Umphrey’s McGee will ironically be performing on Sound Tribe’s home turf at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, Georgia for four nights (12/28-12/31). Philadelphia’s Trance-Fusion pioneers The Disco Biscuits will be performing four nights at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square (12/26-12/29) followed by a late night, three-set New Year’s extravaganza at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.
The Biscuits, however, will not be the only band performing at the Garden that evening. Crowned kings of the jam-band scene, Phish, will be performing a three-set show in the arena at Madison Square Garden. The third set of Phish will overlap with the first Biscuits set, so fans valiant enough to brave through the entire evening will have to choose which band to share the countdown festivities with. A short escalator ride down from the arena will bring fans directly to the entrance of the theatre. This indeed will be the only “down time” anyone will be experiencing throughout the night.
Back in Colorado, STS9 is certainly not the only option for live music on the front-range. If the electronic grooves of Sound Tribe do not fit one’s interests, they have the much more organic option of seeing Yonder Mountain String Band perform four nights (12/28-12/31) at the Boulder Theatre, which is of course in Boulder. Smack in the middle of Denver and Boulder, the String Cheese Incident will be performing three nights (12/29-12/31) at the 1st Bank center in Broomfield Colorado, culminating in their first New Year’s Eve performance since 2006. Fans in the area with eclectic tastes have the option of picking and choosing different nights for each band.
Widespread Panic will be returning from a year long hiatus for two nights in Charlotte, N.C. On December, 30th they will be performing a “Tunes for Tots” benefit at the Fillmore in Charlotte. On the 31st they will be performing at the much larger Time Warner Arena. No tour dates are scheduled for the New Year.
All around the country, the New Year will be brought in ecstatically, with good music blaring early into the morning, sending fans home in the best way possible.